Colombia vacation, overland tour

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17 Dec 2016
2578
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14 Jan 2017
2338
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25 Feb 2017
2338
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15 Apr 2017
2338
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12 Aug 2017
2338
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14 Oct 2017
2338
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16 Dec 2017
2338
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Colombia vacation, overland tour

Environment

By really aiming to get off the beaten track, this tour is a 'responsible tour' to its core. Where distances are not too great, we travel overland using local buses and boat companies. The hotels we use are simple family run guesthouses, some traditional farms or haciendas still managed by their families from whom we gain a greater insight into local way of life, people and culture.

Within the national parks we visit on this tour, our leader emphasises the importance of acting responsibly - helping to protect the flora in the way we find it, to tread carefully only sticking to the main paths and of course we enjoy contributing financially the support of those looking after and protecting the natural environments.

As well as offsetting carbon emissions on all staff travel, we actively encourage our clients to make a donation to our carbon reduction project. Clients are asked to make a voluntary contribution based on the distance travelled and amount of carbon produced which is then invested in projects which alleviate poverty whilst aiming to reduce carbon emissions. Projects have included replacing diesel generators with solar panels in rural schools and public buildings in Panama, planting Maya Nut Trees in Guatemala, and installing fuel efficient stoves in Guatemala.

Community

As Colombia opens up to tourists, it is important to ensure that the places we visit really benefit from our vacations and that tourism is well received and managed in a sustainable fashion.

To do this, the hotels we use on this trip are all small, independently run guest houses or hotels, staff serving you may well be the owners, and without a doubt all will be employed from the local or regional community. Some places we stay on the trip are even converted farms, where families have started to diversify their livelihoods in order to survive, yet tradition is maintained which we strongly support. We place a great emphasis on cultural interaction and appreciate how families survive off the land, such as from coffee production which we learn about while staying on a traditional finca in the Coffee Region.

This journey really is one that travels off the beaten track. Keen to get away from the tourist hubs and hotspots, we choose to travel simply - overland by bus and boat if called for, to fully experience the Colombian way of life and to visit small communities often left as untouched backwaters due to the difficult nature of getting there, yet so keen to promote tourism. In such delicate environments, it is important to step carefully and we do so through our tour leaders who by speaking Spanish fluently are sensitive to the needs of the local community and communicate this to clients.

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